Make every click count!

Straight North is an Internet marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and responsive websites. We help firms increase sales leads and e-commerce revenue.

Our core service is SEO. We have helped hundreds of clients improve organic search visibility since 1997. We are the only SEO company that validates and reports all sales leads from phone and forms.

Call us today: 855-264-8969

 
$5,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
1997
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • Straight North
    211 W Upper Wacker Dr, Suite 1800
    Chicago, IL 60606
    United States
    855-264-8969

Reviews

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Digital Marketing Work for Yoga Business

"I feel like they're very honest and they do what they say they're going to do."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provides local digital marketing services including SEO, web redesign, and sales call tracking with a focus on the Chicago area. The main goal is to improve incoming sales and brand awareness.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Co-owner, Yoga Business
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North has improved traffic and sales conversions coming through the website. They have made a huge step forward with the website design and user flow. Straight North is approachable and honest.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am one of the owners of a yoga studio in the suburbs of Chicago. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

I wanted to optimize our website for organic search because we are opening a few more locations in the area. It was important to also improve the flow of our website. We get sales conversions through our website so it was important to improve the experience for potential customers.

New students come to the website to book their first set of classes. Existing students come to the website to check class schedules, buy a membership, or book more classes.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They helped design the website. I already had a website but they improved my Squarespace website. They helped with SEO and gave me recommendations and also help add company reviews and get us higher on various third party sites.

They also helped with us tracking clicks so we can figure out where our customers are coming from how often they're calling and all of the phone calls are also recorded. We record the calls so that we can improve customer service outcomes. We don't do PPC with Straight North, we just focus on organic SEO.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

A family member recommended them to me.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The first year should be around $12,000 because we spend $1,000 month so far.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started the work at the beginning of 2017 in January.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

I don't have anything available right now but I can check my reports. Straight North supplies that information to me on a regular basis. What I can say is that the SEO work is positive. Our second office location is making drastic improvements and the highest performing webpage.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

I am satisfied with Straight North. I think that they're really good at SEO and they're experts in the field so they could tell me exactly what I needed to change. And they also helped me change things so I didn't have to do it on my own. I love the website where you can see how exactly it's helping where people are coming from and how often people are visiting me. 

I can go there and sign in anytime I want. And also they're really easy to talk to so I can just email them and they respond quickly.

I just feel like as a company they're very easy to talk to. I feel like they're very honest and they do what they say they're going to do. So I feel like the money I'm paying them is worth it. I just trust them. 

So that makes a big difference for me. I've worked with other companies where you're not getting what they say you're going to get. They just really follow through. And I believe that they are experts in the field. 

So I just like working with them.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

We don't work face to face at all. It was originally a phone call and now it's just through email which just great for me. 

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

There is nothing that I can think of at the moment.

Any suggestions for future clients of Straight North?

I would suggest that they have clear objectives and make sure they discuss the objectives with Straight North so it's clear. Clients should do what Straight North recommends since they are experts. The conversation should always continue.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never missed a deadline and get back to me within an appropriate period of time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It's a fair price for the work they are doing.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I'm very satisfied with the quality and they give very detailed reports. I've seen improvement since the beginning.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended them already.

Web Design and Local SEO for Moving Company

"They've got the most up-to-date products and looks."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Apr. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North was hired to build a new website and provide SEO services for a moving company in order to drive a more organic traffic and increase leads and sales. The SEO work is ongoing.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Director of Sales, Moving Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The project went smoothly and the redesign surpassed all expectations. Straight North's team was always prompt and assigned experts to very specific tasks. The new website is now driving 10 times more organic traffic than its previous version.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the sales manager for a moving and relocation services company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We picked Straight North to build us a new website and drive organic traffic to it.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North handles SEO [search engine optimization] and web design. We haven’t asked for social media work because we just kicked-off and want to start slower and then ramp up. We’re in our busy season and didn’t want to attract customers that we can’t properly service. It’s a very small local and regional campaign.

We have a request submission box on the website, and its goal is to get somebody to fill out that box and submit a request for us to contact them, or for them to call us — we want both. Basically, we want to get in contact with them so that we can set up an in-home estimate.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I got a referral from our corporate office for them and a couple of others. Basically, the reason why we chose them is that they were a lot more up-to-date with new designs. They have the most up-to-date products and looks; we didn't want to buy something that was already an old version.​

​​​​​​How much have you invested with Straight North?

It's probably a total of $15,000–$20,000 a year.

What is the status of this engagement?

We're still doing some SEO work. We started working with them about 3 months ago.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

I'm overly satisfied with the website. This is actually our third website build, and by far, this has been the best one. It looks way better than I thought they could make it look without me. I just gave them some white papers and some pictures, and they did all the research and put everything together. It exceeded my expectations; everything was very, very, smooth. I would give them six stars if I could.

I can't give you specific metrics, but I can tell you that without any SEO, we are getting more traffic than we got with our old website, paying $1,500 for pay-per-click. Just organically, it is 10 times better than all the money we were spending with the old one.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

I think they were very prompt. They have individuals that do very specific tasks, which is nice, instead of someone that does everything but really does nothing and then you have to ask questions, and then that person has to ask someone else and get back to you later.

They're very specific with the steps that they take and the people that are involved. They kind of pass you off but they're passing you off to the expert, which is great.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

I don't think so. They’ve quickly addressed everything I asked them to do, change, or fix. I had a few things that I had forgotten that I needed and they did them without a problem.

​​​​​​Any suggestions for future clients of Straight North?

As long as you're honest and open with them along the process, they'll give you their best opinion. I called them and asked them about buying something, and they told me that they have it but that it's worthless for me and recommended not to buy it. So, just be open with your ideas and they'll give you their honest advice, which is important.

5.0
Overall Score I don't think they can do anything more to do any better.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I'm the one that doesn’t meet their deadlines. They have a very set schedule that they like to stick to, which is good, but I'm the one that is not.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I’ve payed exactly what they’ve quoted. They offer a very competitive price.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The website looks very new and fresh; they’ve exceeded my expectations of what I thought it was going to look like. I was expecting something nice, but I feel like they did a really, really great job.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Highly likely.

SEO and Web Design for Renewable Energy Provider

"They’re easy to work with as a team."

Quality: 
3.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
3.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North provided digital marketing guidance and web design, implementing features like inquiry forms and call tracking. They also created and now manage an SEO campaign for lead generation. 

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Baltimore Metro Area
VP of Sales and Marketing, Renewable Energy Provider
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new website boasts an elegant UX/UI and supports simpler in-house maintenance. Although lead numbers haven’t changed yet despite SEO and marketing efforts, Straight North anticipates better success in the future. Their responsiveness, transparent costs, and adaptability inspire loyalty. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a renewable energy company that sells digital solar energy panels to residential and commercial customers. I’m the vice president of sales and marketing, and I oversee all of the administration within the office.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We needed to generate leads. When someone looks at the website, we wanted them to submit their information to us through a form to receive more information. They can also call us. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They built our website and SEO campaign. They also helped with the design of the website and digital marketing. Straight North has a number that they track so we know if any calls are coming from the site or from somewhere else. We have a unique number that customers call to let us track conversions easily.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I didn’t find them originally. Years ago, we hired an SEO company. I’m assuming that they were bought out by Straight North because the former owner currently works with them. Everything transitioned from his original company to Straight North.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

We spend between $4,000 and $5,000 in an average month.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them on the website and expanded to the digital marketing campaign in January 2017. Our relationship is ongoing. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?

As of right now, the work has not been worth it. We’re currently coming up with a new game plan because our leads haven’t changed since we revamped our site and started a new marketing campaign. I don’t know why we haven’t seen any results. Our website was not good before we revamped it, but we had traffic coming in non-stop. Now, we have a gorgeous website, but we’re getting 4 leads a week, and half of them aren’t even legitimate leads. We might get a single call. It doesn’t make sense. Our leads actually went down last month. We should be getting 30 or 40 leads a week. Straight North has all kinds of reports and statistics, but that’s not helping me at this point. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, and we’re going to try again.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Everyone was easy to work with except for our project manager, who has been replaced.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

I’ve never worked with another company like this before, but Natalie [Email Marketing Specialist, Straight North] has been awesome. She’s very responsive and answers my questions. I can edit the website myself now because she’s trained me, which makes my role a lot easier.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

They don’t offer social media services, and I wish they did because I believe that goes hand in hand with SEO. They’re easy to work with as a team. Upper management has been in contact with me to figure out the issue with our lead generation. I’m happy that they replaced the initial project manager.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Usually, communication is a problem with any business partner, but they’ve been responsive. If you have a question, they’ll get back to you. 

4.0
Overall Score I’m being generous considering I’m not generating more business right now. I’m hoping that will turn around.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    I didn’t have an issue apart from the initial project manager. The rest of the team was timely and responsive. Everyone was always on time for conference calls and meetings.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    No surprises came up except for a few things that I thought should be included that weren’t, so I added them.
  • 3.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    I changed some of the digital marketing layout because they had a wind turbine in the picture, but we’re strictly a solar panel company. They overall look of the website is awesome, and I was happy with it.
  • 3.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    If someone wanted them to work on a website, I would give them a 4.5. I don’t know if I would recommend them for lead generation.

Web Dev & Redesign for Medical Scale Manufacturer

“Straight North figured out the best way to get our message across.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Spring 2013 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North revamped an outdated Drupal website, focusing on improving the visual impact of medical products. The team continues to update the site and develop new features.

The Reviewer
 
51 - 200 Employees
 
Greater Chicago Area
Marketing Specialist, Medical Scale Manufacturer
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North is reliable, delivering bug-free code on deadline and responding quickly to inquiries, both in person and remotely. Their high-quality work has resulted in the new site receiving significant positive feedback from users.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I work in the marketing department of a medical scale manufacturer. Our products are used in hospitals and doctors' offices.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

For years, we had a very old website that was hard to look at. We knew that the website was supposed to be updated every once in a while.  

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We discussed the design — how the website should be organized and what we needed. Our website is informational and not sales-focused because we sell through distributors. Straight North figured out the best way to get our message across.

They designed a completely new website using Drupal, which we access through Acquia. Straight North put graphics on the homepage, added new pages, and displayed all the product info. As we get new products, they add other little things on the website to make them stand out.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We did a Google search and found Straight North. They were close to our office, so we decided to contact them for a quote and some ideas about our website. We liked what we saw when we went to Straight North’s office and met them. We visited a couple of other offices in the area, but Straight North had a better quote.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with them in the spring of 2013. I don’t remember how long it took them to update the site. Every once in a while, they’ll help us out when we have changes or new pages to add on the website.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The launched website got good feedback. There weren’t any serious bugs that needed to be fixed.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

They are good at meeting deadlines. I don't recall them ever having an issue or not launching when we wanted them to. They pretty much get things done in a timely manner. They've been great.

The communication is good, and Straight North’s project manager is responsive. We sometimes meet in person since we are so close to each other.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

I haven't had any big issues with them.

5.0
Overall Score We haven’t had any issues. Everything’s been going smoothly.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They always do things in a timely manner.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    When we initially got the quote, they were pretty reasonable with their pricing, and I feel like they still are. It's hard to say if their pricing is better or worse than others.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They provide good quality. We haven’t redesigned our website in a long time, so it’s hard for me to compare them to others. Personally, I think they did great.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They’ve been easy to work with. Every time I contact them, they respond right away, asking questions to figure out what we need.

Website Launch and SEO Work for Glass Retailer

"If you give Straight North an objective, they're going to achieve it."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
2011 - 2015
Project summary: 

Straight North developed a brand-new e-commerce website in Drupal, creating an engaging online presence. They also launched relevant SEO and PPC campaigns to attract target customers to the platform. 

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Owner, Quality Glass Block
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Since the site’s launch, annual retail revenue has increased by $580,000, and page visits and view times have increased significantly. Straight North’s professional designs, impeccable quality, and adherence to all scheduling and pricing estimates built a rewarding partnership.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I own an online retail glass block distributor called Quality Glass Block. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We wanted to develop a website that was able to communicate the differences between our product lines and serve as a resource for our customers shopping online. We also wanted to build links and SEO into our actual website.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They set up and managed my pay-per-click (PPC) services and did my SEO. They also built a brand-new website in Drupal; the old site was in HTML. When they completed the web design, they showed me a few different mockups to choose from. The only things they didn’t do were my email marketing (because we don’t have an email marketing campaign) and social media.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I interviewed about 12 or 13 different companies. When it came down to it, we decided to pick Straight North. They were the highest in terms of price, but I knew what I wanted in a website, and I got what I was exactly looking for. In the end, it was more about getting the service and the product that I wanted than a certain price point.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

It costs me $3,000 a year to maintain the site.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in March of 2011 and rolled out the new site in October of 2011. For the next year, we did SEO and then jumped into PPC. In 2012 and part of 2013, we did SEO. Then, all the way through 2015, we did PPC. Now, the site pretty much runs on its own. They do some maintenance for me. If I need to fix or change anything, they’re just a phone call away.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or impact of the engagement?

Hands down, Straight North has helped my company grow. We were making about $120,000 a year in e-commerce before, and we're up to about $700,000 per year. I would attribute 90% of that growth to Straight North. The biggest thing was growing our presence online. That was the big portion of what they did for me.

We took everything that was in binders and on shelves and put it on a website that's available to our customers as a resource. We watched the number of people that jump off Google Analytics drop. The time spent on our website increased, as well the number of pages that the average customer views.

Customers absolutely love the website’s clean layout and the fact that all the information is so informative. Because it’s so professional, most of them think that we're the manufacturer, not just a distributor.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

Their content is second to none. It brings people in and makes the information readable. They do a really good job at writing the content in a way that’s SEO friendly and attracts the right client. A portion of our website is very technical to attract architects. Another portion of the website is dumbed down for the do-it-yourselfers. A third portion is moderately detailed for contractors. That's what I liked the most about the site.

Straight North uniquely juggles different things. We asked them to put in a customer image process—a place where people could upload photos—and they found a way to do it. They were constantly working to give us what we want.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Their pricing is expensive, but you get what you pay for, so I would not ding them on that.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Be prepared for when the site goes live. We were not prepared for the increased business we were going to have, and we had a ton of overtime while working late on weekends. If you give Straight North an objective, they're going to achieve it, but you're only as good as your internal structure. That was the biggest lesson we learned through this process. 

5.0
Overall Score They're absolutely incredible.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They told me they’d finish by the end of the year because the work was complex, and we did.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They definitely stuck to the original estimate with no issues. From a cost standpoint, I was hesitant at first, but when I saw what I got, the value was absolutely there. In fact, that was our only downfall: we didn't anticipate what they’d deliver.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They're phenomenal. We wanted to reach a certain type of client, and the site did that.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I recommended them last week to the actual manufacturer of the glass blocks.

Web Redesign and SEO for Staffing Agency

"Straight North can do anything if the client provides the concept."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North designed and developed a Drupal website. Now, they provide ongoing SEO and digital marketing services focused on attracting quality job candidates.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Director of Corporate Communications, Staffing Agency
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North delivered a high-quality site in a short delivery window because of their proactive project management techniques. The site has produced a five-fold increase in qualified job applicants. The team had a strong design sensibility that has pleased stakeholders.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the Director of Corporate Operations for a full-service, multi-disciplined staffing firm headquartered in Chicago. We help our clients find quality job candidates for a variety of key industries.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We had an existing, old website that needed to be redesigned. We were looking for web design and SEO companies who could first deliver a new Drupal website and then generate more qualified job candidates through an online marketing campaign.

We generally wanted to get the word out around the country about our services. We also needed a new website to improve our public presence and marketing in general.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North was hired just to redesign our Drupal website and then manage a coordinated SEO campaign targeting educated job candidates. There were no other service involved.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We put out a competitive bid using a traditional RFP process. We narrowed our choice to six similar agencies. Straight North came in and pitched us in person. They had the best team and the most helpful suggestions on how to reach our goals. We also liked their expertise and pricing so we decided to hire them in early 2016.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

We generally spend about $20,000 per year on SEO work. We decided to add more additions to the website build and Straight North priced that for us separately.

What is the status of this engagement?

The engagement is ongoing for SEO services. They started by redesigning the new website in Drupal and then immediately optimized it for organic search. We have no plans to stop the partnership with Straight North.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Straight North delivered a magnificent website that everyone on our team loves. They were able to launch the new website on time because they have great project management and communication. 

The website was immediately more productive than the old website. In fact, we had five applications filled out in the first hour of going live! We only had about 10 applications per week with the old, obsolete website. We now receive about 50 applications per week, which is a five-fold increase. We are very happy with Straight North.

The website design is also excellent and has received high marks from stakeholders. Our marketing team is doing outreach to our existing clients to share our new website. Our clients are quite impressed with the clean and simple design. It's provocative and attractive, we have received many compliments from clients and job candidates.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

I have no complaints about the Straight North team and couldn't think of anything they can improve. They were able to take our concept and run with it.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

My advice for other potential clients is to be clear about your goals and make sure your team is on the same page with objectives. Straight North can do anything if the client provides the concept.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They never were late with anything.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were fair with price increases when we wanted things outside the scope.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It was excellent quality.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would recommend without a doubt.

SEO Services for Debt Lender

“Our business is quite esoteric, but Straight North has definitely been able to grow our leads.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
July 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North improved the SEO of a financial services website by reconfiguring the backend architecture and supplying relevant content. The team continues to monitor and update the platform.

The Reviewer
 
11 - 50 Employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Partner, CapX Partners
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North’s team is made up of professionals whose detailed and timely work generates significantly more leads for the company. This is particularly impressive given the sometimes confusing nature of the business.  

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am a partner in CapX Partners, a debt lender targeting the middle market. We offer leases and loans to middle-market companies.  

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We were looking to drive external leads by improving our web presence. Our business driver is inbound leads, so our main focus was our standing on search engine optimization. We don’t drive all our business through the Internet, which is true for the financial services industry as a whole. Even though we don’t have a web-driven industry, we do strive to improve. A show store can easily move to e-commerce, but lending businesses offer more abstract services that people don’t look for online. Instead, they would rather go to their banks or lawyers for these services.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

In their proposal, they explained what they would be doing, as well as outlined what they saw as our shortcomings and objectives. Straight North worked over a period of time to make the required changes and fixes. They started by changing the architecture of the website’s backbone, followed by supplying proper content, tags, and keyword attribution. We only worked on unpaid search, which involved developing keyword attribution.

Straight North also built the perception that our company was a knowledge center. They looked at what we should be putting on our website, essentially tackling web PR. They also offered to write our content, but we were using an external PR person who understood our business. Nevertheless, Straight North collaborated with that resource very well.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

I am on the board of a design firm and started to ask around there, looking for people who were good at SEO. Straight North specialized in what we needed. Since our group has used outsourced parties in the past, I looked at other vendors as well. I chose Straight North based on web research, relationships, and my own judgment.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of their work has been around $50,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Straight North in July 2015. At the moment, the work involves monitoring, reviewing, and maintenance.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Our business is quite esoteric, but Straight North has definitely been able to grow our leads. Thanks to their efforts, we’ve gone from 0 leads per month to 10. Some industries can see 1,000 leads per month, but we’re a bit different. We've moved up in Google rankings and achieved our objectives.

They also sent detailed monthly reporting on the use of our keywords and leads. There is staff in place for scrubbing these leads. We can easily see what leads are coming through and who they are.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Straight North has a comprehensive process that followed best practices.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

They’re pros who do a great job. I was pleased with Straight North’s performance.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

I chalk some of the results up to our business being more esoteric. Our hits have grown significantly, but people can’t necessarily order our services online. Given the nature of SEO, Straight North is best at generating leads for companies with more concrete products.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Our work plans were laid out very well. They’ve hit every target that we talked about.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We agreed on a price, scheduled meetings, and got to work. Everything was good.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Straight North takes the time to figure out our objectives. They produce work along those lines.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

SEO for Manufacturer Group

"We went from an old, tired website into something that we feel has that wow factor."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North migrated the content of 3 websites into a single platform. They are optimizing the new site for mobile responsiveness and search engine performance.  

The Reviewer
 
201-500 Employees
 
Chicago Metro Area
Industrial Marketing Manager, Manufacturing Group
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North implemented an intuitive navigation system that encourages visitors to make a purchase. The new website is sleek, which customers appreciate. While Straight North’s communication methods need improvement, their project management is strong.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the industrial marketing manager for 3 divisions of 1 company. The first is a 140-year-old perforating division in Pennsylvania. I also work with another division that emulates our Pennsylvania facility. It’s a smaller branch that handles shipping for the Midwest. The third division is in Kentucky, and it manufactures screen products that are sold worldwide.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

The challenge we were trying to address with Straight North was twofold. First, we wanted to merge our 3 existing websites into 1 website that had a more contemporary style. A couple of them were pretty old and were not mobile responsive. To make it even more complex, the 3 divisions of our company wanted to be treated as separate entities. It was a little complicated to design a website that would serve all 3 entities without confusing the visitor about what entity they were visiting. Second, we wanted to improve search engine optimization so that we would rank better online. Merging these sites would help us get better SEO results since we were splitting it 3 ways before.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The project involved a complex redesign. Straight North helped us restructure the content from the old websites and move everything into a single site. In the end, they moved all 3 sites under 1 domain while treating each site as its own individual site.

When we contracted with Straight North to do our website, we recognized that they were a leader in the SEO arena. We asked them to start working on that after the website went live, and they’ve just started to phase that in. Back in January, we contracted them to manage our global AdWords account and handle some of our retargeting as well.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The website rebuild cost us $40,000–$60,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The initial part of the project was the website rebuild, and we started that in January 2016. We signed the contract with them to do the web rebuild in May 2016. Straight North works really fast, but we had some constraints on our end. That’s why it took about a year or 2 to release the new website. So far, we’ve worked with them for about 5 months on SEO, Google AdWords, and retargeting.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

I depend on our sales people to get feedback, and what I've heard has been great. We’ve had a lot of positive responses, both internally and externally. I know that we went from an old, tired website into something that we feel has that wow factor. Straight North’s design is great. The overall layout is more robust, and the navigation is much clearer. People can easily find what they’re looking for. We’ve also increased what we can do on the website. It’s faster and mobile responsive. We’ve added other features that we didn't have before, like a search function. From a marketing strategy, we can now embed different collateral on multiple pages. We can provide material to the visitor right where they are on the site. If a customer is visiting a given page, there’s a ton of information that they can access through related resources. It’s much more intuitive.

Our lead generation has increased exponentially. We probably saw a 20% to 25% increase in our leads, especially with the retargeting. The cost of doing that has been extremely low. In fact, we were surprised at how low it is. I'm looking forward to the SEO results. I wish we’d been with them longer and I was able to give you better feedback on that. I think we’ll be satisfied with them like we were during the web build.  

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

They have been flexible. We had to do some deviation from the initial project scope, and they kept the change orders to a minimum. They adapted the scope or added things without even having to do a change order and incurring costs on our end.   

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

I can say that Straight North has been the most professional group I’ve worked with, by far. When we told a competing company that we brought in during our request for quotation process that they lost the business to Straight North, they said, “You’ve got a great company.” I feel that Straight North is well-known. We’ve had a good experience working with them. I think that we’ll enjoy their services for a long time to come.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Sometimes, the process they used to communicate updates was a little clunky. For instance, they would send us a Word document. I actually found an online utility that would work way better, and Straight North is looking into using that for all of their accounts. However, that was really a minor thing. We were able to communicate effectively, but using something online would have made things easier.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    If I could give them a higher score on that, I would.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    As I explained earlier, we went over the initial scope of the process. They worked hard to avoid any additional costs, and I think they did a great job.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We have a functional website that was fully tested before release. I sent the project manager an email this morning thinking I found a bug, and it was something that I was doing on my end.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already recommended Straight North. Another organization reached out to me about our project, since they were thinking about going down the same path.

Digital Marketing for Sports Apparel Retailer

"Without Straight North, we would have been significantly behind compared to where we are now."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2007 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North has helped a client increase sales through its eCommerce business through more focus on website design, SEO, PPC, and social media marketing.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Baltimore, Maryland Area
Vice President, Sports Apparel Retailer
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North has helped the client turn a small web business into over a million dollars in revenue. Their attentiveness and response time stands out.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the vice president of a company that manufactures athleticwear and apparel. Our products are sold locally in the state of Maryland as well as nationwide and internationally. 

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

The landscape seems to be changing a little in that many people are going online first for shopping, even in terms of uniforms. We've noticed this trend so we're putting less of a focus on local internal reps and channeling those resources into the site. Specifically, we wanted a new design and an increased SEO effort.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Our 2017 scope includes a buildout of a brand-new website. We're also working with Straight North's web marketing department on SEO, pay-per-click, and social media campaigns.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We started working with Straight North around a decade ago when they had a different name. We had an existing comfort level—Straight North had performed well for us and we communicated well with the team. After seeing Straight North's proposal, it was an easy choice to keep with what we knew.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

In 2017, we plan to have a $70,000 spend on marketing, along with the cost of the website which was around $30,000. The total budget is $100,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Straight North's team 10 years ago while they were part of another company. There was a lot of continuity in terms of their resources and location, which was comforting, but we've also met new people for the web development work. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Our site has gone live only a few weeks ago, so its success rate remains to be seen. I've been very satisfied with Straight North within prior experiences. They've been phenomenal to work with. When we first started working with their team, we weren't in the web game at all. They brought us into the scene and it has developed into a million-dollar business for us. Without Straight North, we would have been significantly behind compared to where we are now.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

I've worked with many different companies; Straight North stands out through the level of attention given. Our phone calls are returned quickly and Straight North's team went out of their way to accommodate any special requests we had.

What did you find most impressive about Straight North?

They're there to work for us, not just complete what they signed up for.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

I am satisfied at the moment, but that could change in 2 to 3 months if our leads haven't increased. I wasn't disappointed with Straight North in any regard.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Trust the experts and let them do what they're good at. Clients shouldn't insert themselves too much into areas they don't understand.

5.0
Overall Score I've had a lot of experience in development. I can't think of anything I was dissatisfied with on Straight North's end.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    There was one speed bump during the process. Straight North made up the time and were upfront about it.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We stuck to our budget exactly.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Design for Legal Group

"Our day-to-day team was awesome, and I enjoyed working with them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
1999 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Straight North was responsible for planning and launching a new publication design scheme to improve engagement and overall readership.

The Reviewer
 
11- 50 employees
 
Chicago, Illinois Area
Managing Editor, Legal Association
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Straight North delivered a beautiful website and met the client's design goals. Their project management could improve but they are a fun group to partner with.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

The Association for Legal Administrators has a staff of 30–35 members and serves as a professional organization for people running law firms. Our members include CFOs, executive directors, and basic administrative staff.

I am the managing editor of the organization. I run our publication.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Straight North?

We needed help with the design of our publication. I have been working with the organization for 2 years. Before I was hired, there was a board decision to get rid of the print publication and continue it in app form.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Straight North works on our publication providing design work. We have recently made a redesign which launched in January 2017. Straight North originally developed the iOS and Android apps, as well as the website for our publication. Through no fault of their own, the result was not well-received by members, leading to low readership numbers. We came up with a plan and had Straight North phase out our apps while making the website more robust and responsive. We put together a plan for making the content ungated, instead of having a membership lockdown. Straight North was instrumental in having us get it off the ground.

How did you come to work with Straight North?

We have a longstanding relationship with Straight North, going back 20 years. When we remade our website, we didn't look anywhere else.

How much have you invested with Straight North?

The cost of the web redesign was $31,800.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with Straight North back in the 90s. The relationship is ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

Our readership had been abysmal before the redesign, and our ad sales plummeted. This is more of a reflection on our internal processes. Straight North developed a beautiful app initially, but it was never properly introduced to our readership. We took away a print publication which readers didn't want to get rid of, and threw an electronic version at them. Our members are not a very change-happy group, so the app didn't work as well as we would have wanted.

We're hoping to push our content out there more, employing a social media strategy. Having more hits on our content will hopefully bring back advertisers. The new site has only been out for 3 weeks, so it's too early to tell.

Our readers had been requesting a functionality for viewing the entire publication in PDF form. As a result, Straight North has designed 2 versions of the publication, a web version and a fully-designed PDF which members can print. I anticipate that this will make our readers very happy.

How did Straight North perform from a project management standpoint?

Our day-to-day team was awesome, and I enjoyed working with them. Project management was a bit challenging, given that our contact from Straight North didn't communicate deadlines very well. We had very little time to give feedback, so being a day late meant that the project wouldn't be done in time. It wasn't a major issue, but Straight North's project management could have been stronger.

Are there any areas Straight North could improve?

Better communication and having an upfront schedule would be an improvement. Having one day for client feedback is not feasible.

What tips or recommendations could you share that might increase the likelihood of success with Straight North?

Clients should go in with a clear plan and outline their requirements. We had a wish list which ballooned the budget, so researching the project and having clear requirements is important.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer